More changes at SSA: CIO resigns; OPM’s Zielinski returns

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

Social Security Administration chief information officer Frank Baitman announced Friday he is resigning.

In an email obtained by Federal News Radio, SSA Commissioner Mike Astrue wrote Baitman’s last day is Aug. 19.

“With Frank’s departure, Kelly Croft, deputy commissioner for systems, will assume the CIO responsibilities,” Astrue wrote. “Personnel from the immediate OCIO and the Office of Information Security will move to the Office of Systems.”

Baitman’s decision comes just more than two weeks since Astrue announced major changes to the way the agency is organized around technology.

Astrue told agency personnel June 27 that the Innovation and Investment Management units are moving out of the Office of the CIO to the Office of Systems, and the Division of IT Strategy and functional responsibility for Health IT also will move to the Office of Systems.

Along with Baitman, Astrue said San Francisco Regional Commissioner Pete Spencer is retiring and will be replaced by Bill Zielinski, currently the associate director for Retirement and Benefits with the Office of Personnel Management.

Zielinski came to OPM in 2010 to oversee the Civil Service and Federal Employees Retirement Systems and health and life insurance programs for 2.6 million retirees and survivors, with annual disbursement of over $52 billion in benefits. Among his main goals was to improve the time it takes to process retirement claims. He told Federal News Radio in April it now takes 117 days, or 15 percent fewer, to process a retirement claim.

He began his career at SSA in 1990 and rose to be the deputy associate commissioner for the Office of Applications and Supplemental Security Income Systems, where he was responsible for developing and managing IT solutions for a large federal needs-based program and later the associate commissioner of the Office of Retirement and Survivors Insurance Systems.

Spencer will retire Sept. 2 after spending almost 43 years in the federal government.

Finally, Astrue announced Mary Chatel, the senior advisor to the deputy commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy, will retire July 31. In the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Jim Julian is acting associate commissioner and Kelly Salzmann is the acting deputy associate commissioner for Executive Operations and Human Resources.

Memorandum Date: July 15, 2011 Refer To: S7K

To: Senior Staff From: Michael J. Astrue /s/ Commissioner

Subject: Executive Personnel Assignments – INFORMATION I have several announcements to share.

San Francisco Regional Commissioner, Pete Spencer, will retire September 2, 2011. Pete’s career started as a Management Intern in 1968 and from there he built an extensive resume within the agency that spans programmatic, administrative, and operational organizations. He served as Senior Advisor and Executive Officer with the Bureau of Supplemental Security Income when it was in its infancy in the early 1970’s through 1979. In the 1980’s, he served as Director of Labor and Employee Relations and Director of Human Resources. In the 1990’s, he was Executive Staff Director for the SSI Modernization effort before moving to Operations as Acting Associate Commissioner for Public Service and Operations Support. He later served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Legislation and Congressional Affairs, Assistant Regional Commissioner for Management and Operations Support in San Francisco, and Acting Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance and Management. Pete also spent a year on assignment as Senior Policy Officer with the National Performance Review.

Pete exemplifies the finest qualities of a public servant, always focused on delivering service to the public with the highest standard of integrity.

Following Pete’s retirement, Bill Zielinski, currently the Associate Director for Retirement and Benefits with the Office of Personnel Management, will return to be Regional Commissioner. Please join me in wishing Pete the very best in retirement and in welcoming Bill back to the agency.

Chief Information Officer (CIO) Frank Baitman has announced his resignation effective August 19, 2011. With Frank’s departure, Kelly Croft, Deputy Commissioner for Systems, will assume the CIO responsibilities. Personnel from the immediate OCIO and the Office of Information Security will move to the Office of Systems.

Mary Chatel, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy, will retire July 31, 2011.

In the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Jim Julian is Acting Associate Commissioner for Executive Operations and Human Resources (OEOHR). Kelly Salzmann, is Acting Deputy Associate Commissioner, OEOHR. Labels: Commissioner, Personnel Changes

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